Princess Louise Augusta, princess of Denmark and second child to Carolina Mathilde, was nicknamed “La Petite Struensee” for a number of reasons. Could it have been how her profile, keen wit, and personable appeal reminded the Danish court so much of the deposed former court physician? Or was it because of the whispers of gossip about who her true father was? Either way, the court fell in love with this charming princess and took to giving her the moniker “The Venus of Copenhagen”. The lords and ladies loved her, even though her grandmother, Dowager Empress Juliane Marie, held her and her brother Prince Frederik VI in constant ire and contempt.
This did not mean, of course, that our little princess did not brew her own special kind of mischief! She would set out to stir the older establishment in court, as you will read in this next story.
Some time in Louise Augusta’s early teens, Marie Antoinette’s influence on fashion spread far and wide. the Chemise a la Reine became wildly popular in Europe, and soon reached Danish shores. The mode of dress was softer, lighter, and less formal than court dresses at the time, and was worn without panniers to hold the dress up, thus revealing a bit more of the wearer’s figure. Empress Juliane Marie deemed this unfit for the Danish court, but Princess Louise Auguste? Oh no, she went straight to their favorite painter Jens Juel, and had him paint her wearing this dress! You can imagine how, when the painting had been unveiled, the Empress and all her other cohorts must have nearly fainted. The princess’ legs were almost visible through the translucent material! It was either the painter was to paint the dress more opaque, or the painting destroyed. Despite having bowed to her grandmother’s will, Louise Augusta’s proud and victorious expression very much says it all.